Charles Misare
(1911 - 1980)


Charles Misare was born on September 12, 1911 in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of twelve children of Adolf and Anna (Rehak) Misar.  His parents and six of his siblings were born in Bohemia. His father immigrated to the United States in 1904 and the rest of the family joined him the following year. 1
Charles "Chuck" Misare was a 1931 graduate of the J. Sterling Morton High School in Cicero, Illinois. In addition to the band and orchestra he was a member of the baseball, tennis, and wrestling teams.2 A recognized young talent in Chicago, he was featured in an "obbligato for French horn" at the morning service at the University of Chicago chapel in Hyde Park on July 17, 1931. On August 18 the following year he performed with the Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet at the Arnwahl Studios. Mr. Misare majored in chemistry at Northwestern University. Even before he obtained his degree he began his career as a professional horn player. On May 27, 1935 he appeared with the New Art Woodwind Quintet founded by Manoah Leide-Tedesco featuring an interesting program of compositions by Hindemith, Ibert and Sowerby, plus some arrangements of Bach and Scarlatti by Mr. Leide-Tedesco.

Mr. Misare's first position with a major symphony came when he joined the Kansas City Philharmonic horn section, where he played during the 1935-36 and 1938-40 seasons.3 While in Kansas City a local newspaper observed that he was also a skilled archer in his spare time, placing among the prize winners in tournaments.

In the fall of 1940 Mr. Misare returned to Chicago to join the Illinois Symphony and the Chicago Opera Company orchestras.4 On September 7,  1940 he married Maurine Ruth Blundon5  In 1942 Mr. Misare also performed with the Oak Park-River Forest Symphony as its principal horn.

In September, 1944 Mr. Misare joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as principal horn, and also the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. After two years in Baltimore, the couple were off to Colorado and the Denver Symphony. Mr. Misare took the position of principal horn and Maurine joined the first violin section. To supplement his income, Mr. Misare was also employed as a photographer and printer at D.L. Hopwood Studio. In the early 1950s he left the music world  and worked for the U.S. Geologic Survey. Later he taught photography and electronics at Lowry Air Force Base. He retired at sixty-five but continued to be active in music and photography.

Charles and Maurine Misare had four children, sons Richard Charles Misare,  Bruce Rober Misare, William Masare, and daughter Charlene. Charles Misare died on May 8, 1980 in Denver, Colorado at the age of sixty-nine;  Maurine passed away on July 31, 2003 at the age of eighty-six.


In the above photo Mr. Misare is holding a different horn than the Geyer model shown at the top, although it has not been positively identified. Below, he is shown with his colleague in the Chicago Opera Company, Charles Foreman, in 1940.

Special thanks to Justin White of the Kansas City Symphony for providing information on Mr. Misare's years in the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra. 

1.Two of the children died in Bohemia, six were born in the United States. For most members of family the spelling of the surname changed from "Misar" to "Misare",  however the gravestone for Adolf and Anna retains the original. Charles' surname was misspelled on his birth certificate as "Misour" and wasn't legally changed to "Misare" until 1939. 

2. It has not been established who Mr. Misare's horn teachers were. His good friend, Tennie Webster, studied with Max Pottag, however it has not been confirmed that he was also a member of that studio.

3. It is not found that he was a member of the Kansas City Philharmonic prior to the 1935 season. The orchestra was formed in 1933, and hired many young players from Chicago, including Philip Farkas. In 1936 Mr. Farkas returned to Chicago to join the Chicago Symphony. This was noted by Tennie Webster in letters to Charles Foreman where she also asked  "Will Chuck be going back to Kansas City then?"  Apparently not immediately since his name is not included in programs for the 1936-37 season.  He did return, however, for the 1938- 39  and 1939-40 seasons. For latter the horn section comprised William Hinshaw, Carl Schinner, Charles Misare, Merle Smith, and Ralph Peterson.

4. Not to be confused with the present Illinois Symphony Orchestra formed in 1993, the earlier Illinois Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1936 as part of the Federal Music Project of the WPA.  The Chicago Opera Company was organized from the remaining assets of the bankrupt Chicago City Opera Company. It produced six seasons of opera at the Civic Opera House from 1940 to 1946 (excluding 1943).

5. Born in Salina, Kansas on April 24, 1917, Maurine was musician in her own right, receiving her Bachelor of Music from the Kansas City Conservatory and continuing her studies with the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. When the couple moved to Denver in 1946, Maurine pursued her own career as a first violinist with the Denver Symphony. Continuing in that position for over thirty years, she also played many ballets, musicals and operas. She was member of P.E.O., the Symphony Guild and a great supporter of education and the cultural arts.


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